Poland win team event in Planica, Slovenia third
Planica, 23 March - Poland won the team ski flying event at the World Cup meet in Planica, ahead of Germany and Slovenia, to the thrill of thousands of fans who gathered at the foot of the giant hill in lovely weather on Saturday.
With fine long jumps Jakub Wolny, Kamil Stoch, Dawid Kubacki and Piotr Žyla secured an unassailable lead already in the first series.
They scored a total of 1627.9 points, 8.1 points more than Germany and 24.8 points more than Slovenia's Anže Semenič, Peter Prevc, Domen Prevc and Timi Zajc in third.
There was a bit of tension in the final series when Žyla touched the ground with his hands on landing, but Poland's score lead was just too strong to make any surprises possible.
This was the third World Cup team victory for Poland this season after those in Wisla on 17 November and Willingen on 15 February.
The battle for the second spot was much more tight with Slovenia finishing second after the first series. However, after an excellent jump by Karl Geiger, who landed at 230 metres, Germany edged ahead.
In the first series, Semenič landed at 228.5 metres, followed by Peter Prevc, who made it to 212 metres, his brother Domen flew 229.5 metres far and Zajc landed at 224.5 metres.
In the final series Semenič only made it as far as the 218-metre mark, Peter Prevc upped it to 223 m and then Domen Prevc landed as far as 239 m, followed by Zajc's flight of 235.5 metres.
"Peter Prevc was still a bit unsteady in the first series, but the second jump was good again. Anže Semenič was excellent in the first series, but made a bit of a blunder in the second. The youngest two were flawless," Slovenia head coach Gorazd Bertoncelj commented.
After the end of the first series, Robert Kranjec, one of the best Slovenian jumpers of all time, officially ended his career with one last jump, cheered on by the 21,200-strong crowd.
The three-day Ski Jumping World Cup finale in Planica will close on Sunday with an individual event for the top 30 ranking in the overall World Cup standings.
* Results, team event: 1 Poland 1627.9 points (Jakub Wolny 237.5/228.5 m, Kamil Stoch 227/221, Dawid Kubacki 229.5/230, Piotr Žyla 226.5/242.5) 2 Germany 1619.8 (Karl Geiger 230.5/230, Constantin Schmid 217/216.5, Richard Freitag 221/231, Markus Eisenbichler 227/246) 3 Slovenia 1603.1 (Anže Semenič 228.5/218, Peter Prevc 212/223, Domen Prevc 229.5/239, Timi Zajc 224.5/235.5) 4 Japan 1520.8 (Yukiya Sato 211/221, Noriaki Kasai 213/210, Junshiro Kobayashi 218/225, Ryoyu Kobayashi 240/237) 5 Austria 1520.8 (Michael Hayböck 218/225, Philipp Aschenwald 215.5/213, Daniel Huber 222.5/226, Stefan Kraft 208/221) 6 Norway 1502,6 7 Switzerland 1312,1 8 Finland 1177,6 ... - without a final: 9 Czech Republic 570.2 10 Russia 430.8